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4 Two Portraits of a Very Swift Texas Bird Who IS Lyndon Johnson? By William S. White. Harper’s Magazine, New York, March, 1958. The Congress: Sense And Sensitivity, By The Editors Of Time Magazine, New York, March 17, 1958. There is a felicitous phrasetrompe l’oeilfor the kind of picture which leaps instantly upon being glimpsed into the eye, there to fix forever fast to the retina: imprisoned, as a fly found in amber, unmoving, unchanging, a frozen image, a fully-formed fossil caught unknowing, a moment arrested, a specimen, a thing. Even sosuch a picture can delude, dissemble, divert, even deceive, the eye of the beholder. So is it with the two heroic portraits of Lyndon Baines Johnson hung earlier this month by Harper’s and Time. The image is there plain to see \(see, one may examine the articulate joints, count the facial pores, finger the vertebrae, almost see the lungs at their rhythmic work, poke an exploratory finger into an ear cavity, so fine is the deception of the perwhose picture this is said to be? White, the New York Time’s Pulitzer prize-winning chief U. S. capitol correspondent, works from `Calendar Of Events’ AUSTIN The Texas Highway Department, in cooperation with Texas chambers of commerce, publishes a “Texas Calendar of Events” quarterly. It is a most useful catalogue of musical, dramatic, athletic, and trade activities in Texas cities. For the period March 2231, for example, these events are recorded: 22, Redbud festival, Denton; concert, Amarillo; puppet road show, Beaumont; operetta, “Die Fledermaus,” Waco; 22-23, science fair, dog show, Fort Worth; stage production, “No Time for Sergeants,” San Antonio; 24,piano concert, Beaumont; Jose Qreco & Spanish dancers, College Station; Dallas symphony concert, Dallas; El Paso symphony concert, Maria Svetlova and dancers, El Paso: 25,Greco, San Antonio; concert, San Antonio; 25-26, Amarillo symphony orchestra, Amarillo; 26-30, stage production, “Bus Stop,” .San Antonio; 27, concert, El Paso; Greco, Fort Worth; 27-28, stage production, “John Brown’s Body,” Denton; 27-29, stage production, “The Night of January 16,” Pasadena; 28-30, woman’s state bowling tournament, El Paso; 29, regional bluebonnet relays, Brownwood; kennel club show, Dallas; F.F.A. & 4-H project show, Yoakum. D. C. Greer, ,state highway engineer, has advised the Observer that the calendar is primarily prepared for various newspapers and magazines; that the mailing list also includes chambers of commerce, American Automobile Assn. offices, oil company touring offices, and the state’s highway travel information bureaus. “We will send the calendar of events to individuals upon receipt of their request; however, we prefer not to maintain a permanent mailing list of individuals who would not necessarily have a continued need for this type of information,” Greer told the Observer. “Generally, we have encouraged the traveling public to request a calendar which will cover the period of time of their vacation or recreational trip.” a palette as dark as any preRaphaelite’ s: “Much of the power of practical decision within the Democratic partyand, indeed within the United States &government itselfwill rest for this year, and for the year beyond, and yet the next, in the restless, brilliant, and volatile mind of one of the country’s least understood public men. “Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, the Democratic leader of the Senate, will also be the leader-infact of the Democratic party until it chooses a new one in both fact and form, at its 1960 convention … “Not often, if ever, has a man of Congressin this case so specifically a man of the Senate created so powerful a position for himself or confronted such favorable circumstances for the exercise of that power. The grip of the Administration is inevitably and progressively weakening; the locus of crisis is swinging, even more perceptibly than last year toward the Capitol; incomparably the most puissant figure in that vaulted and Romanesque place is Lyndon Johnson.” A Gold Pillbox Time’s palette is brighter, its technique pointilliste, its detail more deftly drawn: “Lyndon Johnson’s mental alarm clock went off just before 7 o’clock. He swept his long black hair out of his eyes, smoothed it over the thinning area on top of his head. Then he pushed the bedside buzzer for Cook Zephyr Wright to bring up his tomato juice, pink Texas grapefruit, venison sausage \(made from a deer cup of Sanka. He devoured his breakfast, along with the latest Congressional Record, its ink still wet enough to stain his fingers. By 7:30 he was in the bathroom, working on his leathery brown face with an electric razor. `Bird,’ cried he through the doorway to ‘lady Bird,’ his wife. ‘I like to count my blessings …’ lf . . Lyndon Johnson has never ridden higher, and he should be a happy man. But he is not, and he may never be. He sits at his command-post desk in Office G14, Senate wing, U. S. Capitol, restless with energy, tumbling with talk. He flashes gold cuff links, fiddles with the gold band of a gold wristwatch, toys with a tiny gold pillbox, tinkers with a gold desk ornament … “… Says Johnson: ‘People don’t understand one thing about me, that is, that the one thing I want to do is my job.’ … “… his sensitivity is his goad. It spurs him to vanity: his LBJ brand appears everywhere, on his shirts, his handkerchiefs, his personal jewelry, in his wife’s initials, his daughters’ initials … even in the initials on his beagle pup … Lyndon Johnson would rather be caught dead than in a suit costing less than $200.” White’s Johnson is a near-Elizabethan, a man who understands that victory is out of chance by practicality, and the lineal descendant of arrangement, cousined by no martyrs, no nay-sayers for mere nay’s sake: “… He knows perfectly well all the time what is perceptible most of the time … that almost no acute problem, political or otherwise, is ever settled perfectly and ideally and without a good deal of adjustment on both sides. Moreover, this adjustment nearly always calls for some filing away of the sharpest protruding edges of what each side will identify, fairly or not, with the word, ‘principle’; often it also demands an unashamed brushing under the rug of certain inconvenient and ‘Miffing remnants of the accomodation. “As a political commander he is not interested in Charges of the Light Brigade; he welcomes no martyrdom from the massed hosts of the opposition. Like Lord Montgomery in the second world war, Johnson is never happy to involve himself or his troops in gallant operations doomed in advance and useful only to those who love a lost cause.” The background of the Time portrait is busy with sharplyoutlined detail: “… Says Johnson of Franklin Roosevelt: ‘He was like a daddy to me’ … “As a Congressman, Lyndon Johnson went pretty much down the line for the New Deal. He ran for the Senate in O’Danieland got counted out by a highly suspicious 1,311 votes. He ran again in 1948, this time against former Governor Coke Stevensonand got counted in by an equally suspicious 87 votes.” “It was against \(Sen. Johnson made his first major move as leader: Johnson wanted to leapfrog promising freshman Senators ahead of their seniors onto the most sought-after committees, e.g., Montana’s Mike Mansfield to Foreign Relations and Missouri’s Stuart Symington to Armed Services. Cautioned Dick Russell: ‘You are dealing with the most sensitive thing in the Senateseniority.’ But Russell was not quite right: the most sensitive thing in the Senate was Lyndon Johnson. and his instinct told him to go ahead. Says he: “I pushed in my stack.’ Not only did Johnson somehow make senior Democrats feel like statesmen in giving up their preferment, but he won the lasting gratitude of the younger Senators [and the reciprocal gratitude of Texas’s oil industry; the move put freshman Price Daniel on the Insular Affairs committee within whose purview came the Texas Tidelands].” `Not Permitted’ White’s brushes, and Time’s, flick briskly over the Johnson political posture, selecting only those colors and lines, apparently, which seem best to underline their personal concepts. Says White: “… In Texaswhere to most people a ‘conservative’ is somebody like the right-wing former Governor Allan ShiversJohnson is in the middle to a most painful degree. To a substantial and powerful moneyed group he has often appeared to be pinkish, if not dangerously leftist … To a good many other Texans, whose liberalism is perhaps the more vehement for having so long been pressed down into the catacombs, Johnson is seen as a powerful and ruthless rightistthough it is difficult to ascertain from them the precise basis for this estimate. Quite probably it arises as much from Johnson’s manner as from his policies; he can be abrupt and high-handed … Johnson has proceeded in Texas much as he has proceeded in the Senate; he has. not permitted the formation, within his party either in Texas or at the Capitol, of any nexus of enduring power from either the right or the left wing of the party …” Time’s strokes create an atmosphere more introspective: “To Lyndon Johnson, common sense has a special meaning. Says he: ‘One of the wisest things my daddy ever told me was that soand-so is a damned smart man, but the fool’s got no sense.’ By sense, Johnson means the art of knowing what is possible and how to accomplish it. He does not waste time on lost causes. He realizes that hot issues are rarely settled by victory for the ex tremists on either side. Always willing to give a little in return for a lot, Johnson is the Senate’s acknowledged master at charting the paths of accomodation and compromise. He is contemptuous of the crusaders and windmill tilters among his colleagues. ‘All they do is fight. fight, fight,’ he says, ‘and get 15 Senate votes. I would rather win a convert than an argument.’ ” The White portrait, where, and in what direction does it face? “Given all this about Lyndon Johnson, as person and politician, what does he want and where is he going? Among those who do not know the answers to these questions is Johnson himself. Certainly, he wants to go down in history as a great figure of the Senate, and this ambition may be said to have been pretty well reached. Does he want to be President, though he says not? To this, I can offer only belief: I believe that sometimes he does, but that most of the time he does not genuinely and objectively does not. I believe in short that this complex, this driven man \(driven not unworthily, but driven just and real and basic sense, know himself quite what he wants beyond the fact that the practice of policies is his life and his great WRITERS AT WORK: The Paris Review Interviews, ed. by Malcolm Cowley, Viking, New York, 1958, 309 pp., $5. Some of the best novelists and short story writers alive here talk to aspiring young U.S. writers working abroad about the craft of fiction, whether they keep a notebook, how long an idea germinates before it is put on paper, devices they use to get started writing every day, their ways of earning a living before their writing would, and what they think of these *rays; their theories of literature. The interviewers’ common purpose is serious inquiry into writing. That for $5 one may spend a few hours each with Forster, Mauriac, Cary, Dorothy Parker, Thurber, Wilder, Faulkner, Simenon, Frank O’Connor, Robert Penn Warren, Moravia, Algren, Angus Wilson, Styron, Capote, and Sagan listening to them taping intimately about their ways of creating is a dividend of mass publishing one has no right to expect for anything he has done. The interviews are continuing and a second volume is expected. TOLSTOY’S TALES OF COUR-AGE AND CONFLICT, ed. Charles Neider, Doubleday, Hanover House, New York, 1958, 574 pp., $4.95. A volume of Tolstoy’s. stories \(36 of them from “The Invaders” in 1852,,,to “Walk in the Light including 14 from his first period, free of the didactic and moralizing, and the others, including “The Kreutzer Sonata,” from his more or less evangelical second period. This is the first major one-volume collection of his short MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada Suite 201 Century Building 2120 Travis, Houston 2, Texas CA 4-0686 ID 3-1210 Page 6 March 28, 1958 need. Politics to him, more than to any other politician I have ever known, is art for art’s sake.” What does Time believe Johnson thirsts after? “‘I do not take any obscene delight in playing politics with human misery. I think that is what people do when they procrastinate or send up smokescreens. I have responsibilities as the majority leader of the United States Senate … I plan not only to live up to my responsibilities`, but to discharge them as effectively as I can.’ “What was really important to Lyndon Johnsonand to the Democratic recordwas the fact that Johnson had once again taken possession of a key issue, given it the full force of his energy and legislative skill … In a U. S. of fast political change only one thing is really predictable: when the next hot issue comes along, Lyndon Johnson will build it bigger and better hoping that it will do the same for him.” Critical summing-up: Not partrait, but caricaturedeft, sharp, knowing, suggestive of much more than is seen; a skillful rendering of one side of a manysided aspect, a shot, in short, on the wing, at a swift bird. LYMAN JONES stories. Unfortunately Charles Neider’s introduction is selfindulgent, and the dustjacket begins, “These are stories of suspense, action, realism, and intense characterization by one of the world’s greatest writers” \(emR.D. BRAINPOWER IS OUR MOST VITAL RESOURCE! You can’t -dig education out of the